2. Brayan Rocchio
One of the silver linings of struggling down the stretch like the Guardians are is that we get an early look at some young talent before we might otherwise. This can identify potential breakout players and really help speed up the timeline of promising prospects.
Of course, that doesn't always work out.
Brayan Rocchio was having a terrific season in Triple-A. The 22-year-old slashed .291/.383/.417 with 64 runs, 52 RBI and 19 stolen bases through 89 games. He was also showing an outstanding eye, with a walk rate (11.6%) that nearly matched his strikeout rate (12.1%). So it was very exciting to see him get a crack at proving himself at the major league level.
Unfortunately, it's been abundantly clear that he isn't ready to make that jump.
Major league pitching is too much for him right now. He has just 2 walks to 11 strikeouts over 54 plate appearances, and he’s swung at nearly 50% of the pitches he’s faced out of the zone. And when he does make contact it’s not good — he’s completely incapable of getting the ball into the air. A whopping 71.1% of his batted-balls have been grounders (compared to 45.1% in Triple-A), and that comes with a 15.8% soft-hit rate.
I'm not saying Rocchio doesn't have a future on the Guardians' MLB roster, but this was his chance to prove he was ready to be in the plans for 2024. And it's obvious that he's going to need a lot more time.